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A woman has been left with a huge medical bill after fracturing her spine in a freak accident.

Charlie Florence went to visit her brother in Costa Rica in December having not seen him for two years.

The tropical escape turned into a nightmare when the 36-year-old Londoner fell off a path and landed on her back.

The fall left her with a fractured spine and the loss of movement in her legs.

After 45 days Charlie’s travel insurance expired, meaning she is responsible for paying her hospital bills which have soared.

A six hour surgery that has left her with eight screws in her spine has taken the amount she owes the hospital to £28,000.

Her repatriation flights have been estimated to land somewhere around £85,000 and more funds are needed for a potential second round of surgery.

Now Charlie’s friends are fundraising to try and help cover some of her bills.

A friend of Charlie’s, Celine Sprey, wrote: “March 9 was her birthday, when she turned 36. She was looking forward to seeing her brother for the first time in two years.

“Instead they are now meeting in a hospital in San Jose, desperately trying to figure out what to do next.

“Charlie is an amazing, vibrant person. She’s so loving, caring, happy and positive.

“She’s always making everyone feel good and she’s an absolute ray of sunshine wherever she goes.”

Charlie is still in hospital in the Costa Rican capital, San Jose, while her family try to persuade the insurance company to help and find a way to get her home.